2Q2 LETTERS FROM THE
January zoth, 1802.
I made the most of my time, whilst in
Madeira, walking about and examining. I had
not time to get up beyond the cultivated country,
where Nature displays more curiosities than she
does below. I principally should have wished to see
the variety of plants she produces spontaneously
on those mountains, in a more southern latitude
than Spain. As the island is volcanic, I was not
surprised at finding a forest of chesnut trees
above the vineyards, as that wood rejoices in a
The houses are whitened with lime brought
from Porto Santo or Canary, and picturesquely
scattered among the gardens, which makes the
views resemble the slopes of Posilipo and Ischia;
only the roofs are tiled, and not flat—the tiles
are dark brown.
Mr. Murdoch, at whose house we were enter-
tained, is a man of great information, and had
visits from the Portuguese governor and bishop.
The people of Madeira are ugly; most of them
of that kind of Portuguese feature that consists
of a broad face, snub nose and wide mouth, with
good eyes and stout persons, like our friend Susa.1
I The late Count Funchal.